Multi-sensor integration for unmanned terrain modeling

Sreenivas R. Sukumar, Sijie Yu, David L. Page, Andreas F. Koschan, Mongi A. Abidi, Grant R. Gerhart, Charles M. Shoemaker, Douglas W. Gage
2006 Unmanned Systems Technology VIII  
State-of-the-art unmanned ground vehicles are capable of understanding and adapting to arbitrary road terrain for navigation. The robotic mobility platforms mounted with sensors detect and report security concerns for subsequent action. Often, the information based on the localization of the unmanned vehicle is not sufficient for deploying army resources. In such a scenario, a three dimensional (3D) map of the area that the ground vehicle has surveyed in its trajectory would provide apriori
more » ... ial knowledge for directing resources in an efficient manner. To that end, we propose a mobile, modular imaging system that incorporates multi-modal sensors for mapping unstructured arbitrary terrain. Our proposed system leverages 3D laser-range sensors, video cameras, global positioning systems (GPS) and inertial measurement units (IMU) towards the generation of photo-realistic, geometrically accurate, geo-referenced 3D terrain models. Based on the summary of the state-of-the-art systems, we address the need and hence several challenges in the real-time deployment, integration and visualization of data from multiple sensors. We document design issues concerning each of these sensors and present a simple temporal alignment method to integrate multi-sensor data into textured 3D models. These 3D models, in addition to serving as apriori for path planning, can also be used in simulators that study vehicle-terrain interaction. Furthermore, we show our 3D models possessing the required accuracy even for crack detection towards road surface inspection in airfields and highways.
doi:10.1117/12.666249 fatcat:3h6rgmxxenc45ircotkrlhtrjy